Lake Atitlan; Mindfulness and Marathons


Really, I am not a runner or an athlete, I much prefer the more sedentary mindful activities, like sewing, knitting, reading (ok, I do some walking too). But I do know many people who find creative bliss in getting out there and killing themselves in a marathon. And some of them are fiber fanatics too! Can you imagine….

So I am SUPER excited to see that there are plans for the Second Annual Lake Atitlan Marathon in November 2013. Our fiber addicted athlete friends can go to Guatemala for DOUBLE the thrills!

The 2012 run had over 300 participants from South and Central America and from far reaching countries like Viet Nam and New Zealand too, and the non profit event served as a fundraiser for environmental projects to protect the lake. Awesome, this is good for everyone.

The main event for 2013 is a marathon – full or half –  November 30th. If you want to run it  you can be sure we’ll make it happen, and create an amazing Thanksgiving-Creative-Gratitude week to compliment your obsession. And I can be there to cheer you on.

So pack up those running shoes along with you knitting or embroidery project, and let’s go!

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Traditional Guatemalan Breakfast.

Here it is, the plan you’ve been waiting for….. The goal: Get away from yourself!

We need a minimum of 6 people to make a group – a nice intimate gathering. But if you have a lot of excited friends we can handle many more – – or for a private group can adjust to fewer people too.

B, D refers to included breakfasts and dinner.

Day 1, Saturday: Get on a plane to Guatemala City. There are nonstop flights from Dallas or Miami (@3 hours). Bring a kind-of empty suitcase… You won’t need to take much and there is so much to take home! You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to a small, quaint hotel in Antigua for the night.

Day 2, Sunday: this morning we’ll head to Chichicastenango for market day. Sundays are bustling here, and bargains abound.  You’ll find souvenirs and mass market, machine made items, as well as authentic, hand woven articles. Any questions? Our guide will help point you in the right direction. We overnight in a beautiful hotel in a quiet oasis just off the path of the market. B

Day 3, Monday: Rise early for a stroll to the nearby local cemetery where Guatemalan tradition abounds. Crypts resting above ground are colorful and memorable. After a leisurely breakfast we’ll head to Quiejel to meet up with Mayan women who will teach us what they know about rug hooking with recycled materials. You’ll have the chance to begin a project to take with you; materials are supplied but you might want to bring a favorite fabric with you. This afternoon we’ll ride to Lake Atitlan and the town of Panajachel where we settle into our lake front hotel for the next 4 nights.  Located just off the main street, you’ll have easy access to a lively tourist market for excellent shopping and bargains. B

Day 4, Tuesday: Wake up to birds singing and, if the sky is clear, a lovely ring of volcanoes circling the lake. Enjoy the view as you partake of a traditional Guatemalan breakfast. Afterwards we head off to the Tuesday market at Solola. This market is truly authentic; we may be the only tourists there. A narrow, winding maze of fabrics, fruits, meats, fish, clothing, yarns, and everything else you can think of.  This is a crowded, bustling, and AMAZING market. Be prepared for the local, friendly custom of pushing and crowding.  But, again, our guide is with us to help navigate the scene. Optional visit to the agricultural village of Concepcion, and its lovely church. B

Day 5, Wednesday: This morning you have the opportunity to experience a Mayan shaman ceremony. Come with your ‘intentions’ and questions, and enjoy an hour of calming introspection. Later we’ll go off the beaten path to tour the locals’ market with an expert in Guatemalan weaving. This evening learn how to make delicious tortillas with our friend Carmen – it’s harder than you think! B

Day 6, Thursday: Today we’ll hop a boat for a tour of the lake and its communities. We’ll visit San Juan where we meet the Mayan women who form a weaving cooperative. We’ll learn about using natural dyes, and you can try your hand at back strap weaving. It is every bit as miraculous as it seems! On to Santiago for lunch and local artisans. Here you’ll find bead work, and extraordinary embroidery. B, L

Day 7, Friday: after check out we’ll head back to Antigua where we began. En route we’ll make a stop at the ruins of Ixchme, and another Mayan ceremony to grace our journey home. After checking in at our Antigua hotel we’ll walk the colonial city. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight with the group and guide. B, D

Day 8, Saturday: We provide transportation to the airport to catch your international flight home. B

If you wish to extend your vacation, we can make all the arrangements for you. You might:

  1. Add one hotel night for another day to simply relax in Antigua…. or
  2. Add one hotel night and hike the Pacaya volcano…..or
  3. Add three hotel nights and spend a couple of days at the magnificent ruins of Tikal.

We can’t wait to hear from you – let’s go!